Tag Archives: cats

Back in the game

hydrox june 2014

Hi readers.  Mr. Hydrox explained something for me I’d been wondering about a longish while.

Hydrox:  Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww.

Me: Jeeze Hydrox.  Ain’t it a bit late for this crap?  Something bothering you?

Hydrox:  No.  I just got to thinking about things.  Missing Niaid.  All those Y2K chickens and that cabin.  Mehitabel.  Tabby and that mountain place we used to live.  All I’ve got now is this other cat here, Shiva.  You.  And that woman who lives here with Shiva.

Me:  Well you do have that.  You’ve got to live for the moment.

Hydrox: I’m not asking for any of that cheap tripe philosopy.  You asked why I was weeping aloud and I told you.

Me:  I’m glad you did, amigo.  I was afraid you were getting sick again.

Hydrox:  So where’s that woman who lives here?  I haven’t seen her for a couple of days?

Me:  She’s off somewhere else, Hydrox.  It’s just you, Shiva and me for the next couple of weeks.

 Hydrox:  So I can meoooow as much as I want and nobody’s going to be kept awake?

Me:  I’ll sleep right through it.  You know that.  And who cares what Shiva thinks?  She used to be a good cow cat, earned her keep.  Nowadays she’s worthless.  I don’t know why Jeanne keeps her around.

Hydrox:  Yeah, but I’m glad she’s here anyway.  This place almost echoes.  I’d go crazy if there weren’t at least one more cat around.

Me:  You’ve got it then, amigo.  I’ll keep feeding her so long as the food holds out.  Maybe Jeanne will pick up some more when she gets back.

Old Jules

 

 

Being alive puts things into a whole different light

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Those of you who’ve read here a while probably remember when I did my dramatic exit scene from Texas.  Middle of the damned coldest winter in memory, hopped in that RV trying to beat death to Kansas.  Two cats freezing and scared, me pushing things to a razor edge because I was determined to die somewhere the felines would have a home when I kicked.

Made it as far as one of those north Texas towns above Dallas, checked into a motel to croak.  And Jeanne’s sons dropped what they were doing and came down to drive me the rest of the way.

I had every reason to believe one of a couple of unhappy body parts was going on strike and planned to kill me.  The VA in Texas tried hard to avoid giving me the bad news by not examining me, but I sneaked past them into a private emergency room.  Old Gale hauled me to town when I was in bad enough shape to agree to it.  Took care of the cats while the Kerrville hospital made faces at one another every time they got the results of another test.

So I had every reason to believe my goozle was an ugly cancerous disaster, funny como se llamas on my lungs, but that those couldn’t get to me fast enough to kill me.  My ticker was going to do that honor.

So when I arrived in Oz and checked into the Olathe Medical Center through the Emergency Room I figured there was a middling chance I wouldn’t be coming back out with the amount of alive I had when I checked in.

But the cats were taken care of.  Every time a sawbones wanted to look at something else going ugly or stinking on my old jalopy of a body, I said okay.  And afterward he, or she would come around looking somber, suggesting we have a better look and by the way, I hate to tell you this, etc.

But I’ve digressed.  My point I want to make to you is that nobody anywhere along the program was saying, “On the off chance you don’t croak this is going to cost one hell of a lot of money.  Let’s discuss whether you could pay it in your wildest, most optimistic dreams.”

Hell, I’m a Social Security pensioneer.  Whatever medical care I get is through the VA, or Medicare paying the bills that have any reasonable hope of getting paid.  There’s copays, and I had a vague awareness of the fact it exists, but hell, I was having conversations with the grim reaper.  I wasn’t worrying about bill collectors.

And seemingly neither was anyone else.  Sons of bitches thought I as dying, every swinging Richard of them.  Maybe if they thought there was any hope I wouldn’t someone would have sat down with me and said, “Uh, you know, if you die you’re going to be okay.  But if you don’t, we’ve got people over in accounting who are going to try to make the REST of your life challenging.  Maybe you thought you had it bad before you came in here, but dying’s just a way to escape the accounts receivable people down the hall.  People do it all the time.”

Okay.  This defibrillator and the VA paying for physical therapy did a lot, and I believe, my home remedy herbal cancer killer took care of the goozle and lungs.  For a while it still appeared the damned ticker could still croak me, but it gradually slid down on the job.  Every physical therapy session I came away feeling better physically, and suspecting the financial world had some dark clouds looming on the horizon.  Lucky the national debt already admitted nobody gives a damn about paying debts anyway.

Well friends and neighbors, barring any unforeskinned circumcisions I won’t be seeing anymore doctors for a year.  They’ve got this ticker surveillance device hooked to me, reports to them all the time, and I’m down there three times a week on walking machines and sitting down peddler things, putting all this crap behind me.

And the bean counters are scratching their heads, dunning me and fretting over the phone about how I’m going to pay those copays that didn’t make any difference so long as I was exiting the vehicle.  Every month they get their $10 checks, and the big ones rack up a charge to neutralize that in the form of a penalty because it wasn’t enough.

And threatening to turn it over to the Roccos.

Sheeze!  I was needing a new adventure.  Aside from some help from a few good friends, I haven’t had any personal debt since Y2K.  If I didn’t have money I didn’t spend it, no matter what.  Sometimes they turned off the electricity, and it stayed turned off until I got enough money to turn it back on.

I suppose this could be called the cost of living.  I can send them $10 per month, they can call that $10 and raise, until nature can find some other way of wiping me off the Monopoly board.

But damn it’s good being alive.

Old Jules

 

 

City of Adventure

hydrox june 2014

He’s too old to cut the mustard anymore.

Hi readers.  Thanks for the visit.

Jeanne’s next door neighbor saw us on the back porch the other day:  “Hi.  Is that big, fluffy-looking black and white cat yours?”

Me:  “He came with me from Texas.”  No point giving my cat-ownership philosophy dissertation.

Neighbor grinning:  “We watch television late at night with the front door open.  He comes by every night and sticks his head inside, looks at us a moment, then leaves.  It’s eery when he meets your eye.”

Hydrox is evidently as determined to milk as much living out of this life as I am.  Even if it means spying on the neighbors.  They’re older than him, but barely.

Old Jules

Post card art, lousy dreams and cats

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.  Jeanne’s about to zoom away on her morning bicycle ride, trying to find something long sleeved to block something just this side of the morning chill.    She says she had a lousy dream last night, dreamed Leonard Cohen died.  Bummer.

I recall dreaming Al Jolson died sometime a few years ago, but the fact he’d been dead several decades already took the edge off it.  Not a good dream, but better than when he actually did it.  I was in grammar school at the time and it’s the first time someone I really liked died, I think.  He had just come back from a USO tour visiting troops in Korea and went kerplunk.  Lousier than dreaming about it.

Anyway, in spite of myself I’ve been allowing my mind to wander into Jeanne’s Library job postcard art project.  http://librarymailart.wordpress.com/

Trying to think of something that could be forced down the throat of the post office as a post card and sent over there to be forced down their thoats disguised as art.  I’m considering gluing a 78 rpm record to a 33 rpm LP, a 45 rpm single, and a CD and putting address and stamps on the whole shebang.  Might do it yet if I can find the 78 and 33.

But I wanted to sneak around and tell you about cats, mostly.  That cat documentary at the top got me thinking about Hydrox and might have given me a dream about Niaid last night, or maybe she was just saying hi.  A lot better than dreaming about Al Jolson or Leonard Cohen.

Hydrox, by the way, is hanging in there, and I’m including him in my gratitude affirmations numerous times every day.  Been spending portions of almost every night outdoors doing what cats do.

And I’m about to toodle off to physical therapy to do what old human guys do when they’re hanging in there day to day, including themselves in their own gratitude affirmations numerous times every day.

Old Jules

 

 

Netflix, Mahjong, computer chess and good books

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

For the past while my physical prowess has been challenged enough to force me to find alternatives to just reading and meditating, while Jeanne’s pointed out my brain might be failing me from lack of oxygen.  So, she introduced me to Mahjong online to exercise my brain cells.  Which she has no confidence will help.

http://www.freegames.ws/games/boardgames/mahjong/freemahjong.htm

But I’ve been enjoying it.  Online Mahjong makes for a middling good way to pass some time so long as you make it clear you’re not going to put up with any BS from it.  Just hitting the reset button when it tries to throw near-impossible tiles onto that right side and top will keep it towing the line.

Similarly, computerized chess will throw a lot of BS at you, but there’s no easy way of escaping it.  Conceding the games early, immediately after it takes your queen, does cut down of the time wasted, but even that finds a traction point eventually.

And all work and no play leads me to movies.  A place I haven’t been in decades.  Jeanne’s son, Andrew, subscribes to Netflix and allows me to use unlimited streaming video [cheeze I love that phrase] access to their movies.

Watched out movies I haven’t seen except as a kid or teenager, watched movies I loved as a young adult, movies filmed in times a lot different from these. And sated myself out.  Huk, starring George Mongomery during the early 1950s is an example.  Movie about a ‘native’ Filipino uprising after WWII against the US plantation owners.  If we allow the moviemakers to tell us whom to root for we’ll be cheering for the plantation owners every time a little brown brother gets himself shot.

What I’ve learned is there are one hell of a lot of independently made low-budget movies out there capable of providing a type of entertainment I don’t believe movies and television have ever before quite managed.  Maybe the funniest I’ve seen yet was an independent titled, “A Fork in the Road“.    I’d never have had the pleasure of it if I’d not been blessed by a failing vehicle.

Another hilarious one was “Unidentified“.  And a number of Russian ones, Pakistani, Chinese and Korean made movies have offered themselves up for my admiration and piddling around waiting to die or whatever it is I’m doing.

As for good reading material, I’m getting more of it than I can absorb.  Jeanne’s library jobs are fine that way.  Catching up on Terry Pratchett novels, a nice history, Quantrill at Lawrence, The Untold Story, by Paul R. Peterson, One Summer, America 1927, by Bill Bryson,  Prescriptions for Herbal Healing, by Phyllis A Balch, CNC, and Trials of the Diaspora – A History of Anti-Semitism in England, by Anthony Julius.

To name the ones I’m in the process of reading right now.

Saw Harry and Tonto with Art Carney a couple of weeks ago on Netflix.  Reminded me of how differently I viewed it when I saw it sometime in the early 1980s.  And I resonated far too much with it, Hydrox and myself, to watch it through without dropping a few tears.

Hydrox is hanging in there day by day, for those interested.  Who will outlive whom is up for grabs.

Old Jules

 

 

Hobo Hiltons for the Homeless while it’s still Kansas, Toto

As you see in the photo the nearby dumpster provides easy diving as well as convenient disposal of garbage accumulations for community volunteers policing the area.  Note also the 'donation' bin located middle right.  Nearby residents are thereby able to voluntarily dispose of items of their own choosing rather than having things stolen willy-nilly from their vehicles and homes.  A pad located at the donation bin informs residents of the high-rise of who is contributing, and who is not carrying part of the load voluntarily.

As you see in the photo the nearby dumpster provides easy diving as well as convenient disposal of garbage accumulations for community volunteers policing the area. Note also the ‘donation’ bin located middle right. Nearby residents are thereby able to voluntarily dispose of items of their own choosing rather than having things stolen willy-nilly from their vehicles and homes. A pad located at the donation bin informs residents of the high-rise of who is contributing, and who is not carrying part of the load voluntarily.

Couple of things here.  First, a followup:  Hobo Hilton highs for homeless

Opaque windows on all four sides at all levels to allow both privacy and lights are only one of the imaginary, unique, compassionate features.

Opaque windows on all four sides at all levels to allow both privacy and lights are only one of the imaginary, unique, compassionate features.

Riding by one of these the other evening with Jeanne the inside was actually lit.  Couldn’t tell whether there were any homeless in there, but it was clear I’m correct about what these things are all about.  Despite the skepticism communicated in secret smiles every time I tell someone what they are.

Good they’ve got those opaque windows so those hobos can have some privacy doing whatever it is they’re doing in there all lit up at night.  Comforting to know.  I’d love to see the inside of one, find out which floor the bathroom’s on, whether they’ve got a basement in case of tornado threats.

Nice little parking area there for shopping carts, but it’s vacant in this pic.

Okay, then there’s the other thing.

Had to take Mr. Hydrox to the vet last week.  First time he’s visited a physician this century.  Because of the fact he couldn’t pee.  Cost ‘way up there pushing the borderline of $100, but I got him pissing again, got some green pills to give him in hopes they’ll kill whatever germs were corrupting his urinary tract making little grains of sandlike abrasive to foul his works.

For a while there I thought I was going to outlive the last damned feline I have a contract with.  That would feel truly weird.  Free at last, Great God Almighty Free at Last sort of thing.

Old Jules

MIA – Permanent Mouse Patrol – Niaid

Missing a couple of  days now.  Hopefully she's just on an extended adventure, but she's got Hydrox and me missing her a lot.  Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur.  But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water. Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here.  Jack

Missing a couple of days now. Hopefully she’s just on an extended adventure, but she’s got Hydrox and me missing her a lot. Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur. But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water.
Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here. Jack

The Cat in the Wood – Archibald MacLeish

The cat in the wood cried farewell cried farewell
Farther and farther away and the leaves
Covered her over with the sound of the leaves
And the sound of the wood O my love O my love
Farther and farther away and the sound
Of leaves overhead when I call to you
Leaves on the ground.

Socorro, NM, 1996 - 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate.  Beginning the long road home.

Socorro, NM, 1996 – 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate. Beginning the long road home.

Naiad sunset placitas

Hunkered down for the duration

Hunkered into a 1947 US military goose-down sleeping bag, checking the blood oxygen occasionally probably is about as good a way as any to reach Nirvana.

Hunkered into a 1947 US military goose-down sleeping bag, checking the blood oxygen occasionally probably is about as good a way as any to reach Nirvana.

Hi readers:

The coincidence coordinators decided last week that it’s still early times for figuring out what the Veterans Administration Medical Drama Department has in store.  Spang shut down their offices mid-week, filled up their voice mail boxes to overflowing before I developed the good sense to bow to the inevitable.

The cats appear to be indifferent to the challenges.  Whatever the hell it was caused me to decide I needed to sign up to see a VA medical person will have to get in line behind an ice-melt.  Evidently it had nothing at all to do with blood oxygen, anyway.

The cats are laughing their asses off at me about the whole thing.

Old Jules

No heaven on earth. No utopias. Just more people

Finding stereotypes capable of holding up under close scrutiny is necessary for humans, but generally goes unrefined.

Finding stereotypes capable of holding up under close scrutiny is necessary for humans, but generally goes unrefined.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I spent a while bouncing around RV full timers forum-type discussion board-type places lately.  Curious about whether any stereotype applies.  What I found was not a single good, solid stereotype a person could hammer down to perfection, but rather a number of herds of them.

Not much of this sort of thing out there among the modern nomad population.  Whether they're van dwellers or motor homesters, clean lines, shiny paintjobs and glitter are major attractions.  If it ain't eye candy it belongs in a different universe.

Not much of this sort of thing out there among the modern nomad population. Whether they’re van dwellers or motor homesters, clean lines, shiny paintjobs and glitter are major attractions. If it ain’t eye candy it belongs in a different universe.

Fields of peas pretty much running with other peas, cornfields sticking with their corny neighbors, and everyone seemingly well fed.  A few farmers within each stereotype weeding and watering.

I was especially interested in Slab City and what the people who stay there winters have to say to one another.  I thought because it’s as near anarchy as a person gets in the US, it might tell some worthy things about us as a place viewing itself as a free people, thinkers, individualists.

There’s some of that on the surface.  Everyone saying to one another, you have to take whatever comes in Slab City.  Everyone celebrating and patting themselves on the backs for their rugged individualism.

But in fact there’s an undercurrent a lot less worthy of self-praise among them.  An undercurrent of bullying and intimidation hidden in the “gotta take it as it comes” platitudes.

Turns out “take it as it comes” means, “take me as I come” and don’t even think about me taking you as you come.  If you try I’ll probably slit your tires.  Or shoot your cats.

It manifests itself subtly in the matter of cats.  Seems over the past few years women visiting the slabs have had their cats killed by dogs, or shot by dog lovers.  Always women.  How about them apples?

For folks who don’t have much interest nor love for cats and don’t have any desire at all in going on crusades, sacrificing the soothing rewards of rugged individualist wildass self-image community, it just flows down like Jack Daniels Black Label.  Everything bad hiding inside “taking it as it comes” harmony.

I’m figuring it would be a place I’d have to go to war if I landed there.  Can’t see myself sitting still for having my tires cut, knowing someone else who got his tires cut, me having a firm idea who did it.  And most especially knowing who some cat-shooting human was, or cat-killing dog-running-loose owner.

Sometimes wars can happen without anyone having to go looking for, drive so damned far out of the way.  I hope I don’t have anymore wars left ahead of me this lifetime, but if I do I ain’t going to drive 1000 miles to find them.

Old Jules

I wonder if we oldsters are different

Hi readers.

The representative democracy elected government useless eaters and the various space aliens running things know younger people are nothing but a bunch of sheep trapped in career paths, credit ratings and compulsive consumerism.  They know most of them have never stepped far outside the boundaries of control-created behavior and never will.  They know their heads are loaded with frenzied propaganda-induced rabidity of opinion safely within the fences.

But what those useless eaters in the White House, Congress, and all the societal traps of career paths have never been is old, been-there-done-that on most things, and trapped in promises made by useless eaters of the past.  Promises that if we handed over pieces of our incomes for half-century, they’d set it aside, nurture it, and feed it back to us when we got too old to make a living.  One month at a time, every month.

Come rain, shine, four horsemen of the whatchallit, apocalypse, Chinese invasion of toasters, utopian government sawbones free-for-alls, Drug Wars, supporting our Freedom Fighters against their Terrorists, whatever.

We oldsters have broken enough promises in our lives to recognize what a broken promise looks like.  And a lot more of us than anyone might imagine don’t have a lot to lose.  Whole different animal from those on the under-side of 65 circuits around Old Sol.

Some of us also have a mean-streak we’ve gone to a lot of trouble to subdue during our lives.  And some of us probably figure when it comes time to get off the pavement going through the fence is as good as going over it.

I say this because of the workings of my own, personal mind.  And that doesn’t assume the way my mind works necessarily rhymes with the workings of the minds of others in my situation.

For myself, I’ve got three cats I’ve got a contract to feed as long as I’m alive to do it.  It’s a contract I hold dear, as important to me as anything in my reality.  Those cats are going to eat one way or another, so long as anyone in the United States has a plate of food in front of him.  So long as I have the ability to make it happen, by any means whatsoever.

The promises made back when I was feeding the US government pieces of my income and trusting them to set them aside were written into law, and those laws haven’t changed.  But when the US government jumps the tracks and becomes a legion of lawbreakers and the laws they break influence whether my cats eat, all bets are off. 

The government can prove by prima faci evidence they didn’t mean it when they made their laws.  But they can’t do it surgically, selectively.  If the laws don’t apply to them, they don’t apply to anyone.  Not just the laws they picked to break, but all the laws on the books.

But hell, that’s just one old guy saying it.  What the hell do I know?

Old Jules